The third (3rd) full week of March 2023 was one of the most exciting for the crypto, stablecoin, blockchain technology, non-fungible token (NFT), and central bank digital currency (CBDC) sectors of the decentralized finance (DeFi) economy.
Over the seven (7) – day period, it was reported by several news outlets that one of the most popular social media networking portals in the form of Telegram has made an update that makes it easy for its users to engage with Tether Limited’s United States Dollar Tether (USDT) stablecoin.
Aside from this positive news for stakeholders of the industry, a Bulgarian woman linked to the shady crypto project ONECOIN was officially charged by authorities in the United States for her role in duping clients.
Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States in trying to find ways and means to tax the NFT industry released a guide to soliciting comments on the impact of NFTs.
Last but not least, the popular NFT marketplace Magic Eden in trying to appreciate the role of BTC in the booming crypto economy launched a Bitcoin NFT marketplace.
Lastly, JPEX found that the use of CBDC has spiked in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as news outlets reported that millions of residents have turned to the country’s national digital currency in the form of eNaira due to cash shortages.
Federal Republic of Nigeria’s CBDC Use Case Grows Due To Cash Shortages
According to Bloomberg, a well-accredited business news outlet, the growing population of Nigeria has shown that they are fed up with monetary policies that lead to inflation and economic challenges. As a result, the majority of them have turned to the use of the eNaira (electronic version of the Naira fiat currency) as an alternative method of payment.
The statistics in Bloomberg’s report show that the number of e-wallet holders has increased from around one (1) million to about 13 million in just five (5) months (October 2022 to March 2023).
In the process, the value of transactions involving the eNaira has increased exponentially by 63% to approximately $48 million.
Physical cash in circulation is one on the low as it dropped from 3.2 trillion to 1 trillion, according to Godwin, Emefiele, the governor of the country’s central bank.
This has been seen as a positive around Africa and the global world since CBDCs have been forecasted to be the currency of choice in the future.
Telegram Users Can Now Engage with USDT Stablecoin via Chats
Telegram is one of the most used social media platforms and technological services across the globe. Within the week, Telegram added USDT, the largest stablecoin by market capitalization to its wallet bot.
While stablecoins such as TerraUSD (UST) crashed and others have de-pegged by large percentages, USDT continues to fight against the tide and maintain its peg to the USD.
The wallet bot is a facility developed by the messaging app to aid the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.
With this new feature, Telegram users from all walks of life can send one another USDT tokens.
In April 2022, the largest digital asset by market capitalization BTC and another cryptocurrency called Toncoin (TON) were added to the Telegram wallet’s marketplace.
As of Thursday, March 23, 2023, USDT had a fully diluted market capitalization of approximately $81 billion.
US Regulators Charge Bulgarian Woman Associated with OneCoin
Authorities in New York, United States of America have officially charged Irina Dilkinska, an integral part of the development team behind the cryptocurrency fraud scheme OneCoin.
Authorities believe she was part of a group that swindled investors of more than $4 billion.
Despite her alleged position of being the Head of Legal and Compliance for the crypto company which should have cautioned her to comply with rules and regulations, she played a vital role in the creation of shell companies to launder proceeds from the fake crypto coin together with accomplices such as OneCoin founder Ignatova.
Dilkinska has been charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering which carries respective sentences of twenty (20) years.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States Issues Guidance and Seeks Comments on NFTs
The IRS of the greatest economy in the world, the US, together with the Department of Treasury announced on Tuesday, March 21 said that they have issued guidance on the treatment of taxes for NFTs, and they want feedback from the public on how this should go.
More importantly, the agency is focused on how people will respond to them treating NFTs as collectibles.
This is seen as a positive step for many law enforcement agencies that believes the sector worth more than $50 billion in all-time sales should be taxed.
Magic Eden Releases Bitcoin (BTC) NFT Marketplace in Support of Ordinals NFT
Popular NFT marketplace Magic Eden announced during the third full week of March that it has integrated support for wallets that holds BTC in the form of Xverse and Hiro. This will help traders on the platform buy and sell Ordinals NFTs. With Bitcoin’s popularity soaring through the roof, Ordinals NFTs came about as a creation that comes alive when unique data are minted on Bitcoin’s blockchain. Magic Eden is one of the most used NFT marketplaces in the sector and it is also known as one of the largest platforms by monthly trading volume.